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Science and technology education in Brooklyn gets major funding boost from Borough Hall

Borough President Eric Adams’ Will Invest a Hefty $26 Million in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Curricula in Fiscal Year 2017

September 28, 2016 By James Harney Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Teachers, administrators and staffers from PS/IS 686 Brooklyn School of Inquiry happily display a banner thanking Borough President Eric Adams for allocating funding for STEM programs at their school. Photos: Erica Sherman/Brooklyn BP’s Office
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Borough President Eric Adams believes that if science and technology education is to grow and flourish in Brooklyn, it will need a strong STEM.

That’s why Adams this week announced plans to invest more than $26 million from his Fiscal Year capital budget in nearly 150 schools across the borough, and is directing that 95 percent of that money be focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education initiatives.

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The $26 million figure represents more than half of the borough president’s Fiscal Year 2017 capital budget and is double what his office allocated for education spending in the previous Fiscal Year.

He made the announcement Tuesday morning at I.S. 228, the David A. Boody School, in Gravesend, which is set to receive a $570,000 allocation for the construction and outfitting of a state-of-the-art STEM lab. 

That new lab will be used as part of the South Brooklyn Engineering Pipeline — a new curriculum and teacher training partnership between local elementary, middle and high schools as well as Kingsborough Community College. 

Adams highlighted his announcement with a science fair spotlighting the STEM projects that students will engage in as part of the Pipeline program and shared his vision for the impact that education projects he is funding will have in schools — public, charter and private — across Brooklyn. 

“A noted educator once said, ‘Don’t tell me where your priorities are … show me where you spend your money, and I’ll tell you what they are,’” Adams proclaimed. “As I unveil over $26 million for education — the largest allocation of my FY17 capital budget — I am prioritizing the students of Brooklyn. 

“This effort is a direct reflection of my commitment over the last year to actively recruit school administrators to join our shared mission of focusing their institutions’ future growth in the critical academic fields of STEM,” Adams said. “Through the expansion of continuing projects such as Growing Brooklyn’s Future and textbook-free learning, as well as new initiatives such as the South Brooklyn Engineering Pipeline, it’s clear that we’re not simply investing in education; we’re investing in innovation.” 

A clearly grateful I.S. 228 Principal Dominick D’Angelo said, “The generosity of Borough President Adams’ STEM grant will really have an impact on inspiring students and making them more college- and career-ready.”                                                

The South Brooklyn Engineering Pipeline is a collaboration that, in addition to I.S. 228, includes P.S. 188 in Coney Island, I.S. 291 in Gravesend, the Rachel Carson High School for Coastal Studies in Coney Island and Kingsborough Community College in Manhattan Beach.

In total, Adams allocated more than $2 million to these institutions, which will fund the creation of fabrication laboratories that help teach 3-D printing, robotics and other engineering applications. Kingsborough Community College received an additional $250,000 for the continued construction of its marina.

“We would like to thank Borough President Adams and his team for the funding of our Pipeline,” said Edward A. Wilensky, principal at Rachel Carson High School for Coastal Studies. “We are going to make you and the borough of Brooklyn proud.” 

Through a partnership with Beam Center, a nonprofit creative space for youth in the Columbia Street Waterfront District, the borough president allocated $100,000 each to five schools for their own fabrication laboratories — also known as “FabLabs” — that link art, design and technology to expand the applicability of STEM education.

“Beam Center thanks Borough President Adams for funding FabLabs in five public schools in the diverse neighborhoods of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Borough Park, Downtown Brooklyn, Gowanus and Red Hook,” said Brian Cohen, executive director of Beam Center.

In addition, Adams has invested funds to put in new smartboards and replace outdated ones at P.S. 372, build on STEM programming at P.S. 133, create a new green roof classroom for experiments at P.S. 146, build out the tech capabilities at P.S./M.S. 282 the Park Slope School and work with the Beam Center to bring a FabLab to M.S. 442, the Carroll Gardens School for Innovation. 

To expand Growing Brooklyn’s Future, an urban farming education initiative that he launched last year with 12 schools across Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville, Canarsie, Cypress Hills and East New York, Adams designated an additional $560,000 to support greenhouse studies at four institutions. 

Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña could not attend the announcement in Gravesend, but in a statement she thanked Adams “for his commitment to STEM education that prepares our students for college and careers in the 21st century.”

Following remarks by recipients, Adams presented each of them with an honorary check with the seal of Brooklyn and an oversized check, made out to “One Brooklyn,” for education. They were joined by dozens of administrators, parents, students and teachers in celebrating the grants.


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